Saturday, September 5, 2015

Torero defense puts up respectable effort during Aztecs' 37-3 rout

QUALCOMM STADIUM (09/05/2015) The San Diego State Aztecs (1-0) and University of San Diego Toreros (0-1) met on the gridiron for the first time since 1961, and as expected, the Aztecs came away with a blowout victory in both team's season opener Saturday night.

Linebacker Calvin Munson became the first player in SDSU history to finish a game with two interception returns for touchdowns. On just the second play from scrimmage, he returned Trey Wheeler's pass 19-yards for the first score of the game. In the fourth quarter he killed an Anthony Lawrence led drive with a 67-yard pick-six that sealed the win.

“First and foremost, glory to God,” Munson said during the post-game press conference. “He blessed me out there tonight. Big credit to the defensive line and all of the guys that blocked for me on the two picks.”

Damontae Kazee also had a big night on defense. The junior cornerback became the first Aztec to record three interceptions in a game since Ed Ricketts did it against the Marines in 1951.

Out of the 37 points the Toreros gave up, the defense surrendered only 16 (1 TD & 3 FG's). The remaining 21 came from Munson's pick-sixes and Rashaad Penny's 97-yard return during the opening kickoff of the second half. In his Aztec debut, former Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith was held to 9 out of 21 completions for 100 yards, an interception, and no touchdowns.

“I know I have to play better,” Smith confessed. “I have to throw the ball a lot better. I don’t know what it was, maybe it was not playing for a while, but whatever it was I’m going to have to practice much harder and play much better.”

Smith's pass was picked off by junior cornerback Jamal Agnew, who added five tackles and two pass breakups to his impressive performance.

“I think we came in and competed,” Agnew said. “We’ve never played on a stage like this so it was a little surreal. I’m still trying to soak it in right now. We went out there, laid it all on the field and played our hearts out.”

Donnel Pumphrey carried the ball 20 times for 65 yards and a five-yard touchdown. The Heisman hopeful's longest run of the night was only 14 yards. Chase Price contributed to the Aztec run game with 63 yards on nine carries. 

The only points the Toreros were able to put on the board came from a 23-yard field goal by Jack Flatau.

Since USD is an FCS program that doesn't award scholarships, this win will not count towards San Diego State's bowl eligibility.

Next week the Aztecs will travel to the Bay Area to take on California, while the Toreros stay in San Diego for their fifth straight home-opener against Western New Mexico.

San Diego Football Results (Saturday, Sept. 5th)

College Football

SAN DIEGO STATE (1-0) 37, SAN DIEGO (0-1) 3.
GROSSMONT (1-0) 52, SOUTHWESTERN (0-1) 10.
PALOMAR (1-0) 24, Citrus (0-1) 14.
SAN DIEGO MESA (1-0) 33, LA Valley (0-1) 27.

Prep Football

Oaks Christian (2-0) 35, #4 CATHEDRAL CATHOLIC (0-2) 33.
LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY (1-1) 48, Flintridge Prep (1-1) 26.
Bishop Diego (2-0) 29, SANTA FE CHRISTIAN (1-1) 21.

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